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246                          LETTERS   FROM   THE

I might otherwise have been involved In the
Barth6lemy business, and, perhaps, walking about
with Carnot.

I learn that all the ci-devant nobles are to
be banished till after the peace.

How tired my short specimen has made me
of ministers!—though I like the kind of business
exceedingly, and do it with pleasure and a light
hand. I have got into the French style of diplo-
macy so well that I can now write a whole page
of which scarcely an expression is to be found in
the Dictionnaire de rAcad6mie !

I have dined at different country-houses lately,
and generally walked. Yesterday we had a long
stretch, nearly thirteen miles, before dinner, and
as much at night; but it was like walking upon
velvet. I wish I were playing so.

October zznd, 1797.

Still in the wood, as you see, and not a line
from England; consequently, nothing altered in
my most disagreeable position. Time steals on.
Am I then to complete my year in the service ?
If so, I ought afterwards, like a pauper, to be
entitled to a settlement.